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How have YOU stopped self-neglect?

Old 05-08-2007, 06:08 AM
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How have YOU stopped self-neglect?

I'm at a bit of a crossroads at the moment. Seeing that the more interaction I have w/rabf the more apt I am to slide back into my role as a puppet on strings- my life, moods, mentality at any given moment in time based on him giving me attention, affection or the degree to which he is or is not conveying a commitment to recovery.

So today I realized how slowly, over time all of the necessities of my life have slowly fallen away and everything has become about him, his addiction and his questionable recovery.

I realize this and am a bit ashamed by it- feeling it pathetic for me to completely sacrafice my life. Some of my lowest most codependent times I have actually left class (I'm in college) because the anxiety and obsession were too consuming to either meet him and make sure I "Saw" that he was okay or to talk to him so that he could prove to me that he was ok. Craziness I tell you..

This morning thinking about this, I got angry.
I felt victimized.
I felt like I needed to guard myself against him trying to steal my soul.
But then I began to accept that it is MY job to focus on me and to believe that MY LIFE is worth it.

So sad how our own illness allows us to completely engage in self-neglect.
I am honestly deeply embaressed by the extent to which I have lost myself in another- thrown the bits and pieces of my life away to focus on this other person- an ill person.

So I just wanted to pose a sharing thread for all those who wish to share- the point at which they realized they were neglecting themselves and how they took that back.

Today- for me- I am trying to minimize my interaction with abf because it allows me to focus on myself more and prevents me from focusing my entire day around him and what he is or isn't doing.
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Old 05-08-2007, 07:11 AM
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I neglected tons of things because of my addicted boyfriend.

There were things I couldn't do, because HE was always broke and couldn't do them (like go visit my family five states away) and I'd feel bad

There were places I couldn't go, because if I was gone, I couldn't monitor what he was doing, whether he was being unfaithful, using, etc.

There were lots and lots of things I couldn't buy myself that I needed, because I "couldn't afford it" (see Ann's post today...thanks Ann!!!)
Funny thing is, if HE needed it, magically I found the money. Loans, a ride, train fare, food, rent, whatever. But if ***I*** needed it - new tires, a new winter coat, a pair of jeans that fit -- all of a sudden it was "Oh, no, things are too tight. I can't afford it."

When I finally realized it, I made myself a list of all of the things that I really, desperately needed for myself, like proper rain gear, an oil change, shoes, a membership at the public rec center for exercise, etc. And every month I'd chip away at it. I would make a ceremony of it, almost: "This I am doing for me." It became a nice ritual, going to get what I needed and treating myself to a good cup of coffee or a used book or a sandwich.

What necessity have YOU guys been neglecting, because your addict has been devouring all your time and money and love?

What can you give yourself this week, to prove to the child inside you that you still love them, and you haven't abandoned them for an addict?

Hugs to all,
GiveLove
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Old 05-08-2007, 07:41 AM
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Ive neglected my job ( I own a business ). Ive neglected my friends, I was just too tired to socialize. Financially I let my AS rack up our credit cards to the hilt and did not hold him responsible. I neglected my daughter, because chaos always surrounds my son. Ive aged 10 years with stress just wouldnt take the time to take care of my appearance. We have all allowed this ourselves, and forgot whats important us! Our health and happiness. If we allow it an addict will suck the life out of you.
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Old 05-08-2007, 08:40 AM
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good for you hk, glad to hear that you are thinking more about you and what you need to do for yourself. keeping you and yours in my prayers
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Old 05-08-2007, 08:54 AM
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((((heather)))) go back & read your reply to "language to letting go this morning & also your reply to you are worthy. we deserve so much more than what we let ourselves recieve. that goes for things you can not purchuse at a store. things like peace of mind,respect , those kind of things. you deserve respect,something you b.f. is not giving you. let go or be dragged. you can not change him only yourself.i am saying a prayer for you.
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Old 05-08-2007, 10:48 AM
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Heather, have you ever thought about a short-term course of anti-depressants?

I'm not trying to be flip, but I've been where you are, and they really helped me. I was on Paxil for about 9 months and it really got me through a terribly difficult time in my life. I had been having panic attacks and severe depressive episodes and the Paxil took the edge off. When you go through a traumatic event, your brain chemistry sometimes changes, and sometimes I think all you need is to correct it to get you back on the right track.

If you don't feel comfortable getting on medication...are you going to Naranon or Alanon meetings? If not, what is holding you back? I believe you would really benefit from meetings...you will find support, acceptance and love there. You need to focus on yourself, as you already know, and let things unfold as they will with your BF.

I wish you peace.
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Old 05-08-2007, 11:07 AM
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Always covering for the A--taking the abuse--hiding cutting me off from friends and family-always making excuses--losing myself.....
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Old 05-08-2007, 12:31 PM
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Hi Heather, It has been many yrs for me since I ended my marriage to a compulsive gambler. The reason I responded to your post was your use of the word soul when you were describing the giving of yourself to another. I used the exact word when telling people what I did wrong in that mariage. In love I know now you give your heart but never your soul. Your soul belongs to your HP & noone else. It is when we give our soul to another that we get into trouble.
Love,
Diane
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Old 05-08-2007, 05:21 PM
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Oh my, you want to talk about neglect. I moved away from my family with little more than a 48 hour notice. I "postponed" getting my master's and I was suddenly content to sit on my a$$ and get fat and my exAGF take adavantage of me. Neglect, shame, resentment, disappointment in yourself is all a part of it. It doesn't stop until you GET OUT and even then the road to picking yourself up is difficult. But first things first, you have to remove yourself from a bad situation. Trying to heal and grow in a relationship like you're in is like trying to grow a flower in a dark room. It just doesn't work. I hope you can find the strength to do what's best for yourself which seems to be to leave him. Good luck!
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Old 05-08-2007, 06:21 PM
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I always neglected my needs for others and wound up blaming them for it. How sad it was that I couldn't see that it was me who was the problem.
I allowed it. I could have taken the time to to do many things I wish I had done, karate lessons, art lessons, piano lessons, dance class, But no, I was too caught up in the addict, therefore forfeiting everything I needed so I could give everything I had to him.
That was insanity.
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Old 05-08-2007, 06:52 PM
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Originally Posted by newblue82 View Post
But first things first, you have to remove yourself from a bad situation. Trying to heal and grow in a relationship like you're in is like trying to grow a flower in a dark room. It just doesn't work.!
That is my truth, too. I am out of it, almost. I filed 10 weeks ago and have to go to court tomorrow for the first time. I honestly cannot remember feeling this kind of freedom for a lot of years, so I guess that filing for divorce would have to be what I have done to stop neglecting myself.
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Old 05-08-2007, 07:50 PM
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You are all so strong and brave!
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Old 05-08-2007, 07:54 PM
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Hi Heather.........I have lost jobs, found myself financially insecure, gave up going on trips with friends, gave up family functions, gave up spending time with my two sons. Gave up decorating and floral arranging that I love. I have neglected so many things I can't name them all. I just lost my motivation to do all of the things I like to do. I thought about going on an antidepressant but my medical insurance won't pay for it. Isn't it crazy that I would find a way to pay for it if it was for my AD. Sick, Sick, Sick
Trying to get my life back one day at a time...........Lo
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Old 05-08-2007, 08:15 PM
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Heather, You lost your soul in small pieces over time. It will take time to get it back, so don't be discouraged with yourself. If someone had told you a few years back that this is where you would be today, you would probably have not believed it could happen to you. Addiction is progressive and so is our addiction to the addict. So take those baby steps that you need to get your life back. Don't expect everything to fall into place. It will take time, but every good thing that you do for yourself will bring you closer to the person that you know you can and deserve to be. When I was at my worst, I hated to go to work, I hated to go to the store, I hated to do anything except sit at the kitchen table, smoking my cigarettes and worrying and awfulizing. I did not talk to people, I did the bare minimum as far as cleaning, etc. I lost 15 pounds and I looked ten years older. (not good when you are already 53 I am happy to say that everything (except my age) has improved since I have let go of my daughter's addiction. Hugs and prayers that you find peace and happiness, Marle
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Old 05-08-2007, 08:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Sunflower View Post
You are all so strong and brave!
No, not really Sunflower, don't think that about me at least
The others, maybe, but me, I was shaking in my shoes every time I made a change that rocked the boat.
I wasn't brave at all. All I could take was baby steps. Tiny little steps. One small move every day or every week or every month, edging toward the door to my freedom. When i finally got to the door and saw what was outside, then all of a sudden it wasn't so scary any more. It was just....right.

Anyone can take baby steps. They don't have to have courage. They just have to want it badly enough to keep moving in the right direction.

Hugs,
GL
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Old 05-09-2007, 08:31 AM
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I really like Marle's wisdom. She really bring's out a lot of good points. I know she always helps me to feel better about things.
Thanks Marle you really help me a lot and I'm sure a lot of others too.
Hugs to you Heather..........Lo
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